“A Pastoral Approach to Moral Principles” by Bishop DiMarzio

October 22, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family came to a close last Saturday, Pope Francis beatified Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass, praising him as a “humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church.” Pope Paul VI, the writer of “Evangelii Nuntiani” and “Humanae Vitae,” confronted the great need for evangelization in the modern world, noting that the Church exists to evangelize. It is certainly not a coincidence that Pope Francis chose to beatify Blessed Paul VI on the last day of Part I of the Synod on Marriage and the Family.

The official midterm report focused on the challenges and virtues of traditional families, expressing solidarity with Christian families around the world, and offered possible new pastoral approaches to a wide-range of family and relationship situations. We must remember the process of a synod, with its final working document now presented to the Holy Father, who will review the suggestions offered to him by the synod. Pope Francis will then write a Post-Synodal document, which has the full teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff. Can the Pope use all of the suggestions that he receives, and does he agree with them? That is an unanswered question, whose answer we will not know until the Post-Synodal document is released, most probably sometime before next year’s World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia in September.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.